back to the overview
25.04.2024 9 min read

Update Multibanking

Interview with Eliane Albisser

Interview with Eliane Albisser

Open Finance in Switzerland: Multibanking for Retail Is Gaining Momentum

Multibanking for retail provides bank customers with a convenient account overview and innovative value-added services such as personalised insights, intelligent tax deductions and budget tools. Eliane Albisser, our Head of Product, talks about the status of implementation in Switzerland in this interview.

What is the current status of implementing multibanking in Switzerland?

Eliane: The concept is now gaining more momentum in Switzerland as part of the bLink platform. Based on this, start of production is planned for November 2024 for the first banks who want to offer multibanking for retail customers. This “Friends & Family” phase involves service users as well as service providers. Following that, the banks will individually introduce multibanking to their markets.

The kick off is expected for the beginning of 2025. A few financial institutions are currently still evaluating multibanking in the context of a general overhaul of digital banking or they are still at the tender stage.

What are the learnings and challenges in this context?

Eliane: Some Swiss banks continue to be cautious regarding the implementation of multibanking for individuals, but a positive development is the noticeably increasing momentum. This trend will most likely pick up significant speed once market introductions are made and the first offers are available. In any case, it seems that many customers are open to such offers. And the potential market is large: in Switzerland, more than 70% of bank customers maintain relationships with several banks. However, they also have high demands, for example when it comes to the quality of the user experience.

What is the USP of implementing multibanking with Contovista? What makes the multibanking solution special?

Elaine: The unique selling point of our approach is that we combine multibanking with value-added services, and thus transform the customer’s experience within an interconnected ecosystem of banking. In practical terms, this means that in a first step of multibanking users will be able to aggregate accounts. They will then have central access to all accounts, even ones held at third-party banks, through their digital banking. Furthermore, bank customers will be able to use pioneering new features with our multibanking, such as tools for budgeting, tax deductions, or subscription overviews – for all the connected accounts.

Financial institutions can count on quick implementation when using multibanking by Contovista. The time-to-market is estimated to be three to four months. We have been offering multibanking for business customers already since 2018, and have gained a lot of experience with it over the years. By now, we are ready to also provide value-added services for retail multibanking.

Contovista’s solutions provide a whole range of benefits and can be seamlessly integrated into existing digital banking solutions, which proves to be critical for a wide acceptance by end customers. Just as important is the user experience, which is therefore our absolute priority. After all, user experience is the main driver when it comes to shaping the customers’ preferences. Personalisation, data-driven interactions, and value-added services create incentives for higher user engagement (in fact: a possible increase of around 70% according to our experiences with business customers) and thus generate stronger customer loyalty and more sales opportunities.

Image: Eliane Albisser, Head of Product Contovista.

How does multibanking with bLink stand out from other multibank solutions?

Eliane: Thanks to the API-based bLink platform, it is possible to link new banking connections without changing the medium used to access them – fully digital and without paperwork. This allows us to onboard customers x times as fast in comparison to former solutions. Onboarding new third-party banks and other providers can be handled smoothly and quickly as well, without the need for a new release. bLink immediately provides comprehensive multibanking options and with them the added value for end customers and banks.

Moreover, the platform is extremely secure thanks to its central governance and consistent standards. Over the course of last year, bLink has gained many new banks and partners in the ecosystem. The ecosystem is characterised by a positive momentum throughout and the wide range of offers will increase further too, due to the multiplicity effect of the platform.

Let’s attempt a forecast: Where do you see open finance in Switzerland in five years? How will it continue?

Eliane: The convenient account overview thanks to multibanking is just the first step into the world of open finance. More features will become a matter of course in the coming years, such as transfers across accounts. In the future, bank customers will also be able to take out insurance or manage their retirement scheme via their digital banking. And not only that: Incrementally, we will roll out offers that exceed purely financial aspects. Users will then also be able to book trips, movie tickets, or rental cars directly in their digital banking – this is called “Beyond Banking”.

Many pioneering features are being planned in concrete terms and have reached an advanced stage of development. Due to the API-based provision of processes, such innovations are continuously being integrated at the banks. At Contovista, for example, we are working to make it possible that, besides assets, tax deductions can also be automatically imported into the tax platform. Furthermore, users will soon be able to determine in real-time if a mortgage for their dream property is feasible. The calculations for that are based on real estate data, as well as information about their income, retirement scheme, and asset situation. With the seamless, data-driven loan processing, the bank is able to grant financing within a minimum amount of time.

Managing existing loans will be improved significantly too. Customers will be automatically notified via digital banking, should there not be sufficient funds available in a certain bank account for scheduled interest and mortgage payments. The app will then, subject to the customer’s request, automatically carry out a transfer from a bank account on file from a different bank to complete the payment.

The added value of multibanking and open finance is quite obvious for bank customers: with a single login they can manage practically all of their financial business – and more.

The benefits for the bank are just as clear: It asserts the position of main bank by providing relevant, close personal support to its customers. As a result, it maintains in charge of the customer interface with regard to competing institutions, also those from the neobanking sector or other new providers. This means that the bank generates new sales potentials, sets growth impulses, and secures a long-term earnings increase – all based on pioneering digital technology.